Artificial intelligence, or deep learning, might be the game-changer in healthcare that the computer was to technology in the early 1980s. But physicians have nothing to fear about being replaced by AI.
The initial goal of artificial intelligence was to create a machine that would be equivalent to human intelligence. One of the limiting factors was the amount of computing power needed to accommodate the millions/billions of Xs and Os of computer data. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, computer power increased at an exponential rate, so that a smartphone now holds millions of times more processing power than the best computers that were used to send Neil Armstrong to the moon and back in 1969. Now computers have been given an injection of “electronic steroids,” thus multiplying their power to perform tasks such as speech and object and facial recognition. We are on the cusp where artificial intelligence can potentially outperform physicians in reading x-rays and pathology slides.
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